Riddhima and Darpan from Chandigarh tricity bag spots in UPSC Top 100
Daughter of civil servants, Ridhhima bagged 74th rank to top the tricity, while Darpan, an MBBS graduate, ranked 80th.Updated: Aug 04, 2020 19:46 IST
Beating all their male counterparts, Riddhima Shrivastava and Darpan Ahluwalia have emerged as the only duo from the Chandigarh tricity area to figure in the Top 100 candidates selected for the prestigious civil services.
Of the 829 candidates, who cleared the stringent process of the civil services exam (CSE), conducted by the Union Public Service Commission, no men from the tricity could make it to the Top 100.
LIKE MOTHER LIKE DAUGHTER
Riddhima Shrivastava, who lives in Sector 24, Chandigarh, secured the 74th rank to clinch the top spot in the tricity.
Only child of her parents, the 24-year-old cleared the exam in her second attempt.
Her mother Raji Shrivastava is also an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer and is currently working as principal secretary, social security women and child development, Punjab.
Her father, Pramod Shrivastava, is a retired Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer.
Irrespective of her parents being civil officers, Riddhima said her parents always gave her the freedom to choose her own path and follow her dreams. “They are happy with the result, and have been immensely supportive throughout my journey,” she said.
An alumna of Punjab Engineering College (PEC), Riddhima completed her engineering in electronics and communication in October 2017, before starting preparations for UPSC.
However, rather than following in her parents’ footsteps, Riddhima wants to join the Indian Foreign Service (IFS): “It was always on my mind, but I made up my mind to prepare for UPSC only after passing out from PEC.”
On her success mantra, she said, “More than motivation, it was discipline that paved the way for me. I stuck to rigorous preparations, while following a strict schedule. I revised all concepts holistically.”
MOVE OVER MEDICINE, DOCTOR EYES IAS
Second in the tricity at the 80th rank, Darpan Ahluwalia, a 26-year-old MBBS graduate from Government Medical College, Patiala, and a resident of Phase 10, Mohali, aims to be an IAS officer.
“This was my second attempt. In 2018 also I had cleared the UPSC preliminary and main exams and had reached the interview stage,” Darpan said, adding that this year’s result had taken her by surprise as she did not expect to get through.
“I was already preparing for my third attempt when the results were declared on Tuesday,” she added.
After her previous attempt, she chose medical science as her optional subject, which she feels worked in her favour. “Usually candidates opt for a high-scoring and easy optional subject. But, I didn’t want to lose touch with what I had studied, so I opted for the harder subject. I scored well in it, which made a huge difference.”
While IAS remains Darpan’s first choice, she would not mind either of the Indian Police Service (IPS) or the IFS.
Darpan’s father Gurinder Singh Walia is a joint director with the Punjab department of animal husbandry. Her mother, Navneet Walia, who holds an MPhil degree in economics, teaches underprivileged children pro-bono.
Her younger brother, Aaftab Singh, is pursuing a BTech in information and technology engineering from Vellore Institute of Technology, Tamil Nadu.